Skip to main content

Suspense around who organized Dalits' April 2 Bharat bandh, which led to 9 deaths; "outsider" hand suspected

The "unidentified" Gwalior man
By Our Representative
While the violence during the Bharat bandh against the recent Supreme Court ruling of the Prevention of Atrocities (POA) Act led to the death of nine persons, seven of them Dalits, ironically, top Dalit leader, Prakash Ambedkar, who happens to be the grandson of India’s Dalit icon BR Ambedkar, has asserted that suspense remains as to how the all-India protest was organized.
Ambedkar’s suspicion comes amidst a video going viral on social media showing an unidentified man holding a pistol, hiding behind a wall, and firing in Gwalior even as the Dalits were protesting in the city for their rights. There is no clarity on who shot the video.
Among others, senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai seemed to agree with the theory that there was “outsider” hand behind the violence. He said, the Gwalior man with the gun in the photograph which went into circulation was an upper caste. “So my question is: Who fuelled the violence during today's bandh and to whose benefit?”, he asked.
Insisting that there was a need to probe on how the deaths in during the Bharat bandh took place, Ambedkar said, he was in talks with several Dalit organisations for a bandh which he proposed for April 9. Even when the talks were on, a message for a bandh call began being circulated for April 2.
According to Ambedkar, in no time the call for bandh on April 2 “went viral” with at least 15-20,000 Dalit organisations all over north India endorsed it. He added, no one owned the message, and despite effort he was unable trace it to an original source.
Pointing out that this only goes to suggest how spontaneous Dalit anger was, Ambedkar said, protests took place without any coordination committee, or discussion, or even a resolution of demands. Dalits came out on the roads in a spontaneous’ outburst. The anger was real and palpable.
Even as insisting that the role of ‘outsiders’ involvement should be probed, Ambedkar said, the anger became widespread because the government remained silent on what it proposed to do with regard to POA Act at a time when there was a hike in the atrocities against the Dalits.
Ambedkar further said, this anger was further stoked by the active participation of Hindutva organisations in anti-Dalit violence in several states which has been taking place, adding this anger was more evident in north Indian states, which bore the brunt of the violence on April 2.
Ambedkar believed, the Dalits were merely responding to the government’s silence on the atrocities committed against them, with the courts dilution of the POA Act coming as the proverbial last straw.
Meanwhile, reports are pouring in to suggest that Central agencies are in the dark as to whether it was Bhim Army, National Confederation for Dalit Organisations (NACDOR) or an unidentified Dalit youth, who may have given the call through a WhatsApp message for Bharat Bandh around a week ago.
India’s top security brass went into huddle as millions of demonstrators from Dalit organisations, carrying signs with slogans like "Country will be govern by Constitution and not fascism", descended on the streets across the country on Monday, opposing Supreme Court ruling on the POA Act.
However, said keen observers, one thing that clearly emerged all through was, India’s law enforcement machinery, including its local intelligence units, failed to assess the situation on the ground.

Comments

TRENDING

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Evolution of Sardar Patel's understanding of those 'involved' in Gandhi's assassination

By Shamsul Islam*  As the world mourns the 73rd anniversary of MK Gandhi's assassination by Hindutva terrorists on January 30, 1948, RSS, the most prominent flag-bearer of Hindutva politics, whose cadres rule India today, is found reacting angrily to the reality – that the criminals who assassinated Gandhiji were not only part of the ideological world-view of Hindu Mahasabha (led by VD Savarkar) and RSS brand of Hindu nationalism but were also connected with these. 

No Election Commission safeguard against electromagnetic hacking of EVM: Study

Counterview Desk  Releasing a new study simultaneously in Chennai and Kolkata in view of the forthcoming elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Citizens’ Commission on Elections (CCE) – a civil society initiative – has regretted “lack of integrity of EVM voting”, pointing out, the Election Commission of India (ECI) does not appear to safeguard against the possibilities of ‘side-channel attacks’, i.e, hacking electronic devices through electromagnetic and other methods.

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

'Viability' of agricultural cooperatives vs govt proposed pro-corporate economic model

Dr Gian Singh* The farmer struggle started from Punjab against the promulgation of three agricultural ordinances by the Union government in June 2020 and the enactment of three bills by Parliament in September 2020 to replace these ordinances is unique in many respects. There is no other example of such a peaceful and democratic farmer struggle.

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.